Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 24, 2017

March Featured Agent: Tracy Marchini – Interview Part two

TracyMarchini – Literary Agent – Featured Agent for March and critiquing four first pages at the end of the month. 

Below is a brief bio with her likes and dislikes:

After four years as a Literary Agents Assistant at Curtis Brown, Tracy Marchini left to pursue her own editorial business and to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. Her editorial clients have gone on to secure representation, sell books to traditional publishers, win awards and become bestsellers. She’s looking forward to being able to work with her BookEnds clients throughout their careers and to (hopefully!) see them grow as authors in the same way.

Tracy is looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, and non-fiction. She is also looking for picture book illustrators and author-illustrators.

For picture book fiction, she loves books that are laugh out loud funny or deliciously dark.

For middle grade and young adult, she’s interested in underdogs, strong female characters and/or unreliable narrators. She feels it’s important for readers of all backgrounds to see themselves reflected in the media they consume, and she is looking to bring that diversity to my list.

She is not a good fit for YA horror, true crime, hard sci-fi, or high fantasy. At this time, she is not looking for board books or early chapter books.


Any pet peeves?

Besides the ones I mentioned last week, I would say picture books written entirely in rhyming couplets that feel forced. Rhyming picture books are a tough sell, and so if the rhyme takes over the story/narrative arc, I’m likely to put down the book.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients? 

Definitely! Sometimes it’s a light line edit, and sometimes it’s a couple rounds of developmental edits. I’m always trying to put the best book out there, and again – I want to see my clients improve their craft with every book.

Do you have an editorial style?

I like to ask a lot of questions when I do a developmental edit, so that the author can figure out how to address the issues in a way that makes sense to them and their stories. I also find that I tend to be very conscious of word choice. I’m a firm believer in finding the one right word instead of using six or seven to get to the same place.

How many clients do you have or want to build up to? 

I currently have six, and don’t necessarily have a number to build up to. I want to make sure I’m still doing right by all my clients – and to me that means that I’m able to edit their work, do the research to get their books into the hands of the right editors, and have the time to really think about their career trajectory. It also depends on what’s in my submission pile at the time. I’m looking for the right books for me, not necessarily a quota of x picture book authors or illustrators, y middle grade authors and z young adult authors.

What is your typical response time to email/phone calls with your clients?

I try to respond within 24 – 48 hours. Sometimes I respond immediately, sometimes – if it’s something that requires a little more thought – I’ll take longer.

How do you like to communicate (email vs. phone)? And how often do you communicate during the submission process? 

I prefer email, since I have always been better with the written word! But I’m always happy to jump on the phone if things are a little more complicated than an email would allow for.

During the submission process, I’m in touch when I have news – whether that’s new submissions that went out, offers, rejections, or revision requests. As an author myself, I know how exciting/anxiety-inducing the submission process can be, so I want my clients to know who has their manuscript and what feedback has been received.

What happens if you don’t sell this book?

Then we work on the next one, and try again.

How many editors do you go to before giving up?

It depends on the project. I’ll go to as many as are appropriate. Sometimes there’s only fifteen appropriate houses, sometimes there’s more than thirty.

How long is your average client relationship?

I joined BookEnds in June, so I’d say right now my average client relationship is getting close to a year! I’m certainly hoping for much, much longer than that.

Do you handle your own foreign/film rights contracts or does your firm have someone else who handles those contracts? 

BookEnds has a fabulous Foreign Rights Director on staff who is in contact with our sub-agents.

Are you open to authors who write multiple genres? 

Of course! I am looking for people that are primarily children’s authors though, so I don’t know that I’d be the best fit for someone who has written a picture book but primarily wants a career in adult romance.

Are you interested in being invited to writer’s conferences?



In the subject line, please write “March 2017  Critique” and paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page). LAST MONTH TWO SUBMISSIONS DID NOT ATTACH A WORD DOCUMENT AND WERE ELIMINATED. DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!

Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: March 23rd

RESULTS: March 31st.

Please only submit one first page a month, but do try again if your first page wasn’t one of the pages randomly picked. Thanks!

You can contact Tracy at or follow her on Twitter at

You must use their form to submit to Tracy at Bookends. Click here for the form.

Congratulations! Tracey’s picture book debut Chicken Wants A Nap will be published in August by Creative Editions.


I am attending the NJSCBWI Critique Day in Princeton tomorrow, so I will miss the Free Webinar on Saturday March 25th at 11AM Pacific / 2PM Eastern, but I made sure I signed up anyway, so I can access the recording later. You might want to do that, too. Here’s the link.

Earlier this week I signed up for the middle grade e-course, so I can share my thoughts with you. Here’s that link.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks for sharing!


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